Now here is one for the " You Said What! " category.
In a recent report released not even six months after the massive BP oil spill in the Gulf showed up in our new headlines, our very own U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) joined hands with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to declare to us all that Gulf Seafood is now safe to eat.
The problem is that independent tests continue to show high degrees of contamination and numbers of sea life are currently still dying from the exposure to the oil and the toxic oil dispersant chemicals dumped in the gulf.
But this gets even worse – the federal testing done that allegedly found and we quote "no detectable residue" of toxic chemicals in the majority of seafood tested were testing only for a SINGLE CHEMICAL COMPONENT of the Corexit dispersant – Dioctyl Sodium Sulfsuccinate.
They choose to totally ignore all other toxic substances from the dispersant and the oil sill itself. Chemicals like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), propanols, and 2-butoxyethanol.
To say that this is beyond ridiculous is an understatement!
The dangers of PAHs were recently highlighted in a report put out by the journal Geophysical Research which highlighted very widespread environmental damage and ecosystem destruction of life forms especially fish species. This is directly contradicting our governmental agency claims.
The fact is that people are STILL getting sick all along the Gulf Shore from exposure to the toxic fumes brought in off the Gulf waters.
Bob Naman a chemist cited in an Al Jazeera piece on chemical dispersants said that Chemical Compounds found in oil dispersants tend to mix with other chemicals to form entirely new chemical mixtures. These new mixtures are also released into the air and can come down as a toxic rain harming the environment, people and animal life.
If they create such destructive effects in the atmosphere, their effects are much worse in the Gulf sea waters where the concentrations are greater than the air. This would seem to be just common sense and does not require a degree in chemistry or health to figure out.
There is a large amount of independent testing going on that is being ignored by our FDA and NOAA. They are seemingly unconcerned that all the independent results are directly opposing their own pronouncements about the safety of the Gulf seafood.
Dr. John Stein from NOAA stated " absolutely none of the samples (taken as part of the federal tests) pose a threat to human health."
In addition, Margaret A. Hamburg, commissioner of the FDA, made a statement saying " there is no question Gulf seafood coming to market is safe from oil dispersant residue."
REALLY? Apparently these individuals seem to feel that we the public are expected to just take the agencies word for this and happily consume as much Gulf seafood as we want.
The total insanity of this is pointed out by the initial testing method the agencies used to asses the seafood safety – A SMELL TEST.
Yes, you read it correctly, a smell test. Dr. Stein told Reuters that the first round of testing was getting a good smell of some shrimp and oysters. Their trained experts can apparently tell just how contaminated the seafood is by smell and if they pass they are safe for human consumption.
Now if you think this is a valid test, please contact me as I have some swampland that I just know you will love and can build your home on. ( as if ! )
At least most of the population has not lost their common sense – they completely failed to accept this testing method. Hence the agencies went to their "back-up" plan of actually testing the seafood for contaminates.
Of course their "testing" results gave them the answer they wanted – the food was safe and there was no detectable chemicals.
Lets just call this what it really is – JUNK SCIENCE of the very worst kind. And the fact that our own FDA who is supposed to be the protector of public health is complicit in this begs the question of whether or not the FDA has any validity with anything they are doing.
The total story of all of this is still out. There are no hard answers from the numerous investigations as of yet with a clear determination as to the safety of the seafood both now short-term and more importantly long-term.
Because so much uncertainty exists among the experts it is prudent to error on the side of caution and limit or completely stop consumption of Gulf seafood until such time as a better determination can be made.
The best we can do for ourselves is to keep ourselves healthy as possible, eat fresh foods, supplement with those items that can aid in boosting our immune systems ( the first line of defense against everything ) and try to avoid items that are questionable such as Gulf Seafood.